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Book Review Etiquette – Follow the Review Policy

Updated on February 13, 2016
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

It is important that you follow the review policy reviewer's put on their websites. Just as performing a curtsy to one of higher station, following a review policy shows them respect and honor. If you are coming to someone for a favor, you don't insult them or treat them in any rude manner.

Want your book reviewed? Then you really need to follow book review etiquette. It is the first step in getting book reviews completed and shared with the world.

Understand What a Review Policy Is

Many authors don’t understand what a review policy actually is. They might look at it to see how to contact the reviewer and nothing more, but they really don’t understand the purpose of the policy. That's a shame as it could be why you aren't getting those book reviews.

A review policy is an explanation of the site and any steps the author has to take to get their book reviewed. Through the review policy, the reviewer tells the author what he needs to know. It’s a huge communication tool that cannot be ignored if you want to have good relations with reviewers and get book reviews.

A reviewer puts in their review policy several things you need to know. Are they accepting books to review? The review policy will tell you that. Do they only accept certain genres? It will tell you. Maybe they only take print books. It is through the review policy that you'll see if this is the right time to approach the reviewer.

Want your book reviewed? Then get familiar with review policies.

Find the Review Policy

Now that you know what a review policy is, you need to know where to find it. That can vary from site to site. Each place puts it in a different location. Look at the top menu bar of the site. You might find it staring right at you. Click on it and read it. If it's not there, you need to dig a little more.

Some people put it under “About Us”, “Contact Us”, or “Policies”. Look around. You might even find it through the site’s search engine if they have one. If you can’t find one, see if you can find anyway to contact the site and ask them about how to go about reviewing your book. Always let them know you have looked for it but cannot find it.

Read It Completely

Don’t just scan the review policy for the contact info. You need to read it completely. By scanning it, you’re missing vital information when you do that. Stop!

Read if the reviewer is accepting books, what kind, and in what format. Some reviewers only want print copies. If your book is only available as an ebook, you are pursuing the wrong reviewer. Don't waste your time or theirs. Move on.

You might discover that this reviewer won’t enjoy your book. Do you really want to send them the book? Make sure you don’t burn bridges before you build them with reviewers.

What You Get When You Follow the Policy

When you follow the review policy of a site, you get their attention. You might even get your book reviewed. You might even get more sales. It’s a win situation all the way around when you follow the policy and respect the reviewer. They see that you took time to read it and respected their wishes. They sit up and notice you then.

What You Get When You Don’t

When you don’t follow the review policy of a site, you get ignored and your book won’t get reviewed. You could also get on those personal lists of author’s not to work with. You don’t want that. You want to have your book received favorably.

If I get a review request that shows me that the author didn't read my review policy, I delete the request. I put up the review policy for a reason. Ignoring it is rude to me. Think about that.

Work with the reviewers to get your book out there and noticed. Follow their review policies. You won’t regret it.


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    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 22 months ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you. Yes, I can't stand it when someone ignores my policy. Doesn't help get reviews.

      Have a good one.

    • Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image

      Cee-Jay Aurinko 22 months ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Great hub Rebecca. Considering how many authors are looking for book reviewers everyday, I think this hub is one every author should read.